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Systematic Reviews in Health

Article Screening

A large part of any Systematic Review is actually a filtering/screening process of selecting studies for exclusion from, and inclusion in, the Systematic Review.  This is done in two stages:

1. Review title and abstract information - Use your inclusion/exclusion criteria to first screen the title and abstracts of your studies and determine whether they are relevant to your research 

2. Review full-text - Once titles and abstracts have been screened, the full text must be retrieved and screened to definitely decide whether the study fits the eligibility criteria of your review. At this stage it is essential to keep a log of excluded studies with reasons for exclusion.

Ideally, study selection is completed by two independent reviewers with a third person available for conflicts. Alternatively disagreement of study selection may resolved by discussion between the reviewers.  Specific article screening software, Covidence or Rayyan,  is available to manage this process.

Systematic Review Software at University of Canberra

The following Systematic Review software is available at UC.  For advice about which software you should use, please contact 



Covidence is an online Systematic Review program developed by, and for, Systematic Reviewers. It can import citations from reference managers like EndNote, facilitate the screening of abstracts and full-text, populate risk of bias tables, assist with data extraction, and export to all common formats.

Guidelines for accessing the UC Covidence subscription

  • To create a Covidence account, please request access via this email: 
  • You must create your Covidence account using your or email accounts.
  • Once we have processed your access request you will receive an email from Covidence Support:
    • Click "Accept this invitation" and follow the instructions (TIP: Watch the short video)
    • Then select "Create a new review"
    • Ensure "University of Canberra" is selected as the account to use

NB: Our annual subscription fee for Covidence is based on the number of new reviews, so please do not create Test/Practice reviews.  Instead, refer to the Knowledge Base and/or generate a demo review; both are located near the sign in at the top of the page.

For comprehensive information on how to use Covidence and for technical support please see the Covidence Academy and Covidence Knowledge Base .



Rayyan is a free online tool that anyone can use for screening and coding of studies in a Systematic Review. It uses tagging and filtering to code and organise references.  Rayyan makes completing a systematic review in teams or individually, more efficient.

Guidelines for accessing Rayyan

Rayyan is free (Open Access) software.  Go to to sign up.  

For information on how to use Rayyan see the video and McGill University Rayyan Guide



SUMARI is JBI's software for Systematic Reviews.  It is designed for use in fields such as health, social sciences and humanities. SUMARI supports 10 review types including qualitative reviews, mixed methods reviews, scoping reviews and many more.  SUMARI allows you to easily work through the process, from protocol development, team management, study selection, critical appraisal, data extraction, data synthesis and writing your Systematic Review report.

Short videos on how to use SUMARi are available here.

Guidelines for accessing the UC JBI SUMARI subscription

  • Go to the JBI database on the Library's Databases A-Z pages.
  • Under "EBP Tools" select SUMARI
  • Create a personal account to get started.